by Amy Zidell
I started this piece nearly a month ago and while I can't at this particular moment explain what I was so busy doing, you'll just have to trust me that I was busy doing something and simply didn't get around to revisions and posting this until now. There have been a slew of stories and issues that have beckoned me to respond, here are my two cents on a couple of them.
- It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride
Regarding the mother who was arrested and/or handcuffed for not having her kids buckled up in their mini-van. What's the question here? This 'mother' endangered her kids' safety not to mention the safety of others on the road while her progeny bounced around inside the minivan. I saw a brief sound clip from the mom where she in essence said that it was for just a brief amount of time that the kids were unbuckled because they were looking for something. WELL if it was for just a moment and because they were looking for something then it's OKAY! Ah, NO. Anyone remember the statistic that most accidents occur within 3 miles of ones home? The whole issue with cell phone usage and driving is that drivers get distracted. Distracted drivers aren't good drivers -- they are dangerous drivers to themselves, their passengers and everyone else out of the confines of their homes. There are many potential distractions while driving. If you don't have enough sense to focus on driving while you're driving then get off the road. That goes the same if you don't know how to drive. It could be the radio, food, a cell phone, pets, kids whatever. You're moving at a high rate of speed in three thousand pounds of steel unless you drive a small car then it's probably only about half that many pounds and some of the metal could be aluminum. And don't find false comfort believing this light metal is not dangerous. It can be. Why I nearly cut my hand getting a piece of aluminum foil recently. I wasn't so lucky with the razor edge from my plastic wrap the other day, which left quite a nice slice in my hand. If that much blood could come from an accident with plastic wrap, I don't want to imagine the metal implications. If something is distracting you while you drive, pull over and deal with it when you're no longer a threat to society whether it's whinny kids, dialing the cell phone, annoying romantic interests, whatever.
I'm sure that the handcuffing and arrest scene was terribly embarrassing for the mom and likely traumatic for the kids. I'm confidant however that the trauma of seeing dear old mom in cuffs in the backseat of a squad car isn't nearly as traumatic as the kids being ejected from the car with forces a physics professor would need to explain and splattered across the asphalt if there had been an accident. I'll venture that this mom is more outraged that her mothering abilities were called into question than being arrested. Her bruised ego is what's at the heart of her debate. On a minor psychological level, these kids have learned at an early age that parents are capable of making mistakes. Think of the money this entire family has saved on therapy now. Why they ought to invite that trouper to dinner.
The mom did something wrong and she was called on it. Why is that so hard for people to accept? The other day I was at a garden show. Dogs were permitted on leash and so I had mine with me being very well behaved. A few yards away a small boy sees my dog and comes running at us with some sort of karate kick and move accented with a karate chopping yell. Playing my part as the Alpha, I maneuvered protectively in front of my dog and we stopped. My dog and me both glared at the stupid child. He then ran back to his mother who was giggling vacuously. I took it upon myself to offer some advice regarding dogs and children. I told her as nicely as I could that running screaming and making kicking and punching motions toward a dog and their owner wasn't a good idea. I told her that many dogs would justifiably respond aggressively to such behavior. I didn't get to the part that this was a good recipe for her little boy getting bit. I even had statistics to site. She replied absently, "Oh, um, he didn't even know you where there. He didn't even um see your dog." She must have a new implant I'm not aware of, maybe something from one of those new laser eye things. The mother wasn't watching what the child was doing so I don't believe she knows what the child saw or not. I just shook my head and tossed my hands in the air, "Fine!" I gave up. My Good Samaritan allotment for the day was used up along with my patience. Why do you need a license to drive and to marry but not to have children? I proceeded to a nearby booth and the lady there was shaking her head in disbelief having seen the whole situation play out. She rolled her eyes in a silent, "Some people," comment about the 'mother.' Shaking my head too I said, "She's not paying any attention to what her kid's doing. And I get attitude."
I can only image what the arresting officer had to contend with dealing with the no belt mom. That officer deserves some hazard pay no doubt.
- Bush's Tax Cut Proposal
The complaint goes that the rich get most of the tax cut. Right... of course they do, they make more money, they pay more taxes. Based on percentages, a cut would mean more savings to the rich as they're starting out paying more tax in the first place. If we had a flat tax, the rich would pay more. If the flat tax were cut, the rich would save more again. I'll take a stab that it's not all that far off in this case. Right now, the more you make the higher the percentage tax you pay. No I haven't read the tax proposal or any plan and don't expect to in the near future. I did see a report on FOX News Channel - they report I / we / you decide - that most of the effects of the proposal, if enacted, would take many years to actually take effect. This bothers me.
I've long believed that if tax dollars appeared to be spent effectively we wouldn't mind paying taxes as much. Multiple taxes really bother me. You're taxed when you make money. You're taxed when you spend the money that you were taxed on that you made. If you invest money you made and were taxed on and profit, you'll be taxed on that. The death tax is horrible. The dearly departed person has been paying taxes all their lives on what they earned, on what they bought, on what they invested and because they happen to pass it on to their family wham, there's another tax. That's just not right. And then there are taxes you pay no matter how much money is made. Business tax for example. You start a business, you pay a tax. Whether you start in January or December, it's the same. Whether you make any money or not you still pay tax. If you are fortunate and your business makes money you'll pay taxes on that. If you earn money from the business that made money you'll pay a tax on that too. It's not just the small business person that feels they're getting taxed every which way they turn it's everyone. No doubt it's expensive to run a fine country nowadays, and taxes are necessary. Again, I think that we're not so much bothered by how much we're taxed but by how little seems to be done with the taxes we pay.
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